If you’ve visited in the past few days, you probably think I have some irrational, uncontrollable hatred or animosity or something for Legacy Publishing aka the Big 6 or Traditional Publishing.
Granted, this rant and that bit of angry hoo-how would certainly give you that idea.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
I don’t HATE Traditional Publishing.
Really! I don’t!
Without them, I would have grown up without books. Without them, my imagination would have floundered. Without them, my creativity would have withered and died. Without them, I would not be who I am and where I am.
And, without them, there’d be no vanity press, no online publishing, no self-publishing via Amazon.
In fact, in many ways, Traditional Publishing is the parent of Self-Publishing.
A distant, unloving, hyper-critical, potentially abusive parent. But a parent nonetheless.
The anger I feel toward the Big 6 has more to do with their apparent attitude toward self-published authors than it does with who they are or how they operate, even, ostensibly, through surrogates. (cough) NY Times (cough)
Listen, it’s one thing to be rejected by a Publisher. Happens all the time. No big whoop.
It’s another thing to have those at the Big 6 not want you to publish PERIOD.
It seems like it’s no longer enough to ignore you outright or have an intern toss a rejection letter/email your way. Now they have to bludgeon, bloody, and belittle what’s becoming a strong cornerstone of an increasingly viable industry.
From questioning the quality of the work and the work ethic of the authors to throwing doubt on the veracity of the reviews, it looks as if Legacy Publishers are hell bent on destroying self-pubbed authors.
Is the royalty check I’m getting this week — my own version of “One small step for my bank account, one … giant leap for my bruised Writer’s ego” — really that much of a threat to their bottom line? Is the fact that ANYONE can publish and, therefore, the Big 6 no longer decides who does and doesn’t end up in Readers’ hands killing them that much? Do they so desperately need to be The Gatekeepers that they’ll stoop to staining the collective reputations of authors who, collectively, are hardly a threat to their more established Superstars?
Why? (I ask again)
Listen, I understood early on that what I write — my story about a haunted immortal desperate for redemption lacking vampires and werewolves and wizards and a clean, easy fit in the YA genre — wasn’t what New York was looking for. That’s why I didn’t submit it.
As I said in the Comments to this great Post over on Carl Purdon’s blog, I could spend years perfecting a query letter to land an agent and then try to get published — which could be several more years — OR I could self-publish and spend that time building an audience and writing more books.
That Legacy Publishers would seem to have a problem with that is, frankly, confusing.
That they’d apparently take fairly overt steps to diminish us is what angers me.
So, I don’t really have a problem with Traditional Publishers per se. As long as they let me do what I want to do, why would I?
All I ask is they give us self-publishers the same respect and allow us the chance to find our Readers.
At the end of the day, the Publishing World is a vast, endless ocean. I’m sure there’s room enough for everyone.